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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences
Dear AHS faculty and staff:

Hello, all. Fall is upon us, as you can tell from the chilly early mornings on campus. I, like the rest of you, am concerned about a COVID-19 resurgence as the cooler weather moves in, but I am heartened to see how the majority of people on campus are wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.

Following a spike in positive COVID-19 cases as classes resumed this semester, I can report we have seen a decline since Chancellor Jones enacted restrictions on undergraduates' gathering, and increased their testing protocols. It's working; let's stick to it! It's the best way to ensure a successful semester.

Remember that you still need to be tested once a week, on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. This website has a list of testing sites and other COVID-related information. You will need to have up-to-date test results in order to gain access to your building. Download the Safer in Illinois app, as it allows you to keep track of your testing schedule and results.

Life is different for us all now. We have adjusted to this "new normal," and we are braced for what could be a difficult winter. That said, I know we all have the desire and drive necessary to continue to move forward. To that end, we are still collecting information about accomplishments and successes to publish in The Dean’s List. Be sure to submit your information. To ensure inclusion in Monday's email, we ask that you send information by 5 p.m. the previous Friday to Items will be reviewed and edited for style and grammar.

Stay well!

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences


AHS has a new embedded clinical counselor, Kim Peters, who is located in Huff Hall, Room 245. As a Counseling Center employee, Kim offers time-limited counseling, connection to group counseling, referrals to community therapists, and outreach and prevention services. Students, faculty and staff can schedule appointments directly with Kim at or 217-333-3704.  More information about services provided by the Counseling Center can be found on this website.


KCH professor Wendy Rogers has a new publication in the journal Gerontechnology entitled, "Design guidance for video chat system to support social engagement for older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment." The study concluded that older adults, with and without MCI, were interested in using a social engagement technology to interact with previously unfamiliar individuals with shared interests. SHS associate professor Raksha Mudar was co-author, along with Lydia T. Nguyen, a doctoral student of Mudar's who recently completed her PhD, and Qiong (Tina) Nie, a doctoral student of Rogers.

KCH assistant professor Shannon Mejia also has a new publication in Gerontechnology entitled, "Older adults’ use of self-monitoring technology within the context of their daily experiences." In it, Mejia concludes that older adults’ patterns of technology use suggest that self-monitoring technologies are more likely to be used in times of need. 


KCH assistant professor Naiman Khan's proposal, “Lutein Supplementation for Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study” has been chosen to receive funding from the Division of Nutritional Science’s Vision 20/20 program. The project has been awarded $21,400 over two years.


SHS assistant professor Mary Flaherty has been selected by the Office of the Provost to participate in Purdue University’s 11th Annual Conference for Assistant Professors titled Navigating Academia to Achieve Promotion. (She will join Laura Hahn Mattie and Marie Channell, whom we recognized last week.) The annual conference brings faculty, especially assistant professors, from across the country together to discuss, share information, learn strategies, and meet with others in an effort to especially raise women's success in earning tenure. This year’s keynote speakers will focus on leadership as well as diversity and inclusion efforts in turbulent times.


An interdisciplinary team of UIUC engineers, designers, and disability experts, including wheelchair coach Adam Bleakney of DRES, recently received a $1.5 million grant by the National Science Foundation National Robotics Initiative to develop a wheelchair that will provide individuals with a physical disability a new and novel mode of mobility. Our communications staff spoke with Bleakney as well as Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler (PI, Mechanical Engineering) and Deana McDonagh (College of Fine + Applied Arts) about the project.

Bleakney also made appearances on WCIA-TV and WAND-TV to promote the project, and was featured in the News-Gazette.

You might have seen Wellness Ambassadors around campus, handing out sanitizers, masks, and information flyers. Several of the Wellness Ambassadors are AHS students, and the communications staff is periodically interviewing them. This week it’s Sarah Bittle of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. 

The Beyond The Gym Floor podcast with KCH's Jamie O'Connor this week featured guest Marquell Johnson, a professor and director of Rehabilitation Science in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.



A new study seeks individuals 18 and older to assess nutrition status. The study aims to examine relationships between various nutrition assessment techniques. There is one in-person session lasting approximately one hour, and one remote/virtual visit.  In-person we measure your anthropometrics, cognitive tasks, and simple eye tests and a skin test to understand your habitual diet. You complete surveys about your diet and physical activity habits remotely. Compensation is $40 via Amazon gift card. Contact Monica Kashi in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.


The Exercise Psychology Lab is committed to promoting exercise as an easy, fun and safe way to improve health and well-being. During this time when COVID-19 has disrupted our daily lives, we are offering free, Zoom-based group exercise sessions led by our research staff. Exercises are tailored toward middle-aged and older adults with moderate levels of fitness. Sign Up Here! Exercise classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m.


If you are conducting research related to COVID-19, or are otherwise helping to address the coronavirus pandemic, we'd like to know about it.  Please send a brief description of your involvement to

We are also asking our alumni to share information related to how they may be helping to mitigate the pandemic.  We will continue to share these stories as we learn of them.


The Dean's List is delivered on Monday. To ensure inclusion of your announcement, submit information by 5 pm the previous Friday. Please submit your announcements or calendar items to Items will be reviewed and edited for style and grammar.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
110 Huff Hall  |  1206 South Fourth St., Champaign, IL 61820 MC-586
Phone: (217) 333-2131 FAX: (217) 333-0404

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